->'''Ted Kramer''': Margaret, I just need to know something. Did you put Joanna up to this?
->'''Margaret Phelps''': No, I did not put Joanna up to this.
->'''Ted Kramer''': Give her a little pep talk, maybe?
->'''Margaret Phelps''': Joanna is a very unhappy woman and it took a lot of courage to walk out this door.
->'''Ted Kramer''': [[ArmorPiercingQuestion How much courage does it take to walk out on your kid?]]

Adapted from the novel by Avery Corman, ''Kramer vs. Kramer'' follows the story of Ted Kramer (Creator/DustinHoffman). Ted's a workaholic who is not really involved in the domestic life of his wife Joanna (Creator/MerylStreep) and 6-year-old son Billy. He is forced to become involved immediately one day, when Joanna leaves him, forcing him to raise Billy alone. A year and a half pass before she finally returns to claim Billy; an emotional custody battle ensues.

This was 1979's UsefulNotes/AcademyAward winner for Best Picture, and the film that earned Hoffman and Streep their first Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. Robert Benton's wins for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay brought the total to five.
!!This film features examples of:
* AdaptationDyeJob: Joanna is brunette in the book.
* AdaptationalHeroism: She's also much more self-centered and narcissistic, whereas in the movie, she comes off as genuinely overwhelmed and unhappy and in need of help.
* AdultFear: When Ted sees Billy fall from the jungle gym and hurt himself badly. After that scene, you'll understand how Ted is sprinting like a Olympic track star with Billy in his arms to the hospital. The fact that the kid needs stitches and Ted can only hold him as they are painfully sewn is equally painful for the audience too.
* CallBack: The first meal Ted tries to make his son is french toast, which ends up going terribly due to his inexperience. On their final day together, the two make french toast again, but this time it is much easier.
* CharacterDevelopment: Ted, practically an absentee dad at the beginning (see EstablishingCharacterMoment below) becomes a caring and devoted father.
* ADayInHerApron: More like at least a year and a half, but the trope still fits.
* DiegeticSwitch: Antonio Vivaldi's "Mandolin Concerto" plays over the opening credits and scenes, as Ted is finishing up a meeting with his boss and Joanna is packing to leave. Then it's being played onscreen by two street musicians Ted passes, before it switches back to background music.
* DoorClosesEnding: The elevator doors close on Ted as Joanna goes upstairs to tell Billy that he can stay with his dad.
* DoubleStandard: Works against Ted in court, with the tendency of family court to assign custody to the mother in custody battles.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: How removed is Ted from his family's life? When he has to take Billy to school the morning after Joanna leaves, he doesn't even know what grade Billy's in.
* HandOrObjectUnderwear: See NakedPeopleAreFunny below.
* HollywoodLaw: Ted's fear of Billy having to testify if he appeals is ridiculous, considering that an appeals court does not hear new evidence, and ''nobody'' testifies as a witness.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: After Billy's temper tantrum and a nasty argument, Ted goes to the liquor cabinet and throws back some whiskey.
* JustFriends: Ted and Margaret, as Ted tells Billy directly. Any thoughts of a MaybeEverAfter ending are quashed late in the film when Margaret tells Ted she's getting back together with her ex-husband.
* LeavingYouToFindMyself: The rationale Joanna gives Ted for leaving him at the start.
* MarriedToTheJob: Ted, or as he likes to call it, bringing home the bacon.
* MenCantKeepHouse: When Ted first tries to cook for Billy after Joanna leaves. Averted for the rest of the film.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: After coming home with Ted for a one-night stand, his coworker Phyllis encounters Billy in the hallway while nude, leading to her awkwardly introducing herself while employing [[HandOrObjectUnderwear hand underwear]].
* PrecisionFStrike: "Damn her!" It's only a mild one [[ItMakesSenseInContext out of context.]]
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Vivaldi's Concerto in C major for mandolin and strings appears over the opening credits, while several Henry Purcell pieces are employed through the rest of the film.
* ShoutOut: Dustin Hoffman reads the ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' book ''Red Rackham's Treasure'' to his son.
* TakingTheKids: Joanna wants to.
* ToiletSeatDivorce: The reason for Joanna's leaving boils down to this.
* VersusTitle
* VetinariJobSecurity: Ted, who is desperate for a new job, gets hired by telling his prospective boss that this is a one day offer.